Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 22 August 2018

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.

A. Issues In The Environment

1. Economy

1.1. The recent economic developments in Turkey have led to a large depreciation of emerging market currencies, including the South African Rand.

1.2. Capital outflows from these markets have accelerated and bond yields have risen, slowing down economic growth and job creation. Turkey’s large foreign currency denominated liabilities and relatively low levels of foreign currency reserves predisposed the country to large and damaging capital outflows, as monetary policy started to normalise in advanced economies.

1.3. Cabinet notes that South Africa has a number of strengths, including an independent central bank, an inflation-targeting regime with inflation consistently within the target range, low levels of foreign-currency debt and a clear fiscal consolidation plan. Cabinet is committed to maintaining these strengths.

1.4. At the same time, government will continue to implement reforms to increase the growth potential of the economy and improve the credibility of our policy decisions.

1.5. Government will continue to collaborate with business, labour and civil society to restore confidence in the economy and address the structural constraints to economic growth. Working together we can translate our plans into concrete actions to move the South African economy forward.

2. Value-Added Tax (VAT)

2.1. Cabinet welcomes the report by the Ministerial Panel of Experts which reviewed the list of zero-rated VAT items and recommended the inclusion of white bread, bread flour, cake flour, sanitary products and school uniforms.

Cabinet encourages South Africans to voice their opinions on the report, which is open for public comment until 31 August 2018. The Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, will then make an informed choice on which proposals to implement. Submissions can be made in writing to vatsubmissions@treasury.gov.za.

3. Women’s Month

3.1. Cabinet calls on all citizens to continue with the drive to ensure the safety and empowerment of women in our society.  We commend all sectors of society for heading up initiatives aimed at fighting gender-based violence (GBV).

3.2. As Women's Month draws to a close, Cabinet continues to honour women in the same spirit that we honour the women of 1956 who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in defiance of a brutal regime that sought to use discriminatory pass laws to undermine their dignity.

3.3. Since the start of our democracy in 1994, great strides have been made to ensure that women enjoy the same rights as their male counterparts in education, employment, property, inheritance and justice. In driving an inclusive economy, we are working hard to ensure the full participation of women in the economy and driving an inclusive economy.

3.4. As part of celebrating Women’s Month, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – in partnership with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and Total South Africa – will on Thursday, 23 August 2018 hold its 19th Annual Female Entrepreneur Awards in East London in the Eastern Cape.

3.5. Government, together with its partners, will hold a National Gender Summit to forge consensus on how best to deal with GBV.

3.6. The Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele, has recommitted members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to prioritise cases that involve the abuse of women and children. When a woman or a child reports a crime or abuse, it must be followed up with the urgency it deserves and taken to its full conclusion.

4. Land expropriation

Cabinet thanks South Africans who participated in the parliamentary public hearings into the possible review of Section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee has concluded hearings in all Provinces. The deliberations on these hearings as well as written inputs will now be considered by Parliament.

Discussions on the issue of land ownership in South Africa is vital and working together we can ensure that land reforms can further assist in growing our economy particularly in the agricultural sector and address the land ownership inequalities in our country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza to coordinate and implement measures to accelerate the redistribution of land, the extension of security of tenure, the provision of agricultural support and the redress of spatial inequality, within a broad and comprehensive land redistribution and agricultural development programme.

5. Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) Initiative

5.1. Cabinet welcomes the launch by President Ramaphosa of the SAFE Initiative, as part of government’s response to the sanitation challenges facing some of the country’s poorest schools.

5.2. The SAFE Initiative is led by the Department of Basic Education, in partnership with the National Education Collaboration Trust and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

5.3. Cabinet calls on all sectors of society, including big business and non-governmental organisations, to support the initiative that is aimed at alleviating infrastructure backlogs for schools in poor communities.

6. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

Cabinet was briefed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Ms Naledi Pandor, on the challenges facing the NSFAS.  In order to stabilise and decisively address the challenges faced by the NSFAS in the disbursement of funds to deserving students, Cabinet supported the appointment of the Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen.

The appointment of the Dr Carolissen effectively dissolves the current NSFAS Board. The Administrator together with the management will work towards dealing decisively with backlogs and other challenges facing the entity so as to ensure student funding is administered optimally for 2019, and that all outstanding issues for 2017 and 2018 are resolved.

7. Retrenchments

Cabinet is concerned by recent announcements over possible retrenchments and job losses in some industries, including mining and media.  We reiterate our appeal to business to consider retrenchment only as a last resort, and to explore other available and innovative ways to sustain jobs.

Government continues to partner with business and labour, and remains convinced that working together, we can grow our economy and create new jobs.

8. Broadcasting

Cabinet welcomes the news that the SABC will screen English Premiership League games. While this may be a revenue opportunity for the SABC, government hopes that the screening of these games will not sacrifice local sports and also worsen the financial position of the public broadcaster, given its current liquidity challenges.

Cabinet notes the Invitation to Apply for the licensing of spectrum for the provision of subscription broadcasting services by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.

While matters pertaining to licensing are the exclusive domain of the regulator, consistent with Section 192 of the Constitution, the licensing process should be done in a manner that does not destabilize the free-to-air platform during the transition from analogue to digital or encourages uncompetitive behaviour. It should ensure that new licensees are able to compete fairly and openly.

B. Cabinet Decisions

1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area to Parliament for ratification.  This agreement will result in access to new and dynamic markets in the rest of Africa, in particular new markets in West Africa and North Africa. It will also provide export opportunities for South African products. This will also be in line with the integrated development approach in the continent. It will stimulate industrial development, investment and the creation of jobs in the continent.

2. Study on spectrum licensing

Cabinet approved the outcome of the commissioned study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, which sought to determine the amount of spectrum for open access and licensing to the industry.  The study confirms that spectrum can be licensed to both the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and the industry.

This will, amongst others, achieve the national policy obligations, cost of communication; remove the entry barriers for small and medium companies, and sustain the current investments. The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, will hold a full media briefing to unpack this report.

3. Progress on North West

Cabinet received the fourth progress report on the Section 100(1) intervention in North West. Cabinet is satisfied with the implementation stage, with several milestones reached in terms of the institutionalization of the project in the province.

  • The Memorandum of Understanding between the national and provincial government has been signed from the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on North West;  
  • Five administrators for the departments placed under Section 100(1)b have been appointed and formally installed as accounting officers;
  • The protocols and directives between the respective National Ministers and provincial MECs have been signed in line with Section 100(1)(b); and
  • An overall coordinator for the management of the North West intervention has been appointed.

Cabinet further expressed appreciation to the immediate intervention by the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) and the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent to the sewage crisis in the Ditsobotla Local Municipality in North West.  The spillage of the sewerage, which had become a health hazard to the community, has been cleared.

Cabinet commended the work that has been done to date by the Administrators under the leadership of the IMTT, chaired by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

4. Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)

Cabinet approved the publication of the updated Integrated Resource Plan for public input.

The National Development Plan identifies the need for South Africa to invest in a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support the country’s medium- and long-term economic and social objectives. Energy infrastructure is a critical component that underpins economic activity and growth across the country; it needs to be robust and extensive enough to meet industrial, commercial and household needs.

The finalisation of the IRP will provide the necessary certainty to industry players as well as consumers in so far as security of electricity supply in the medium to long term is concerned.

The Minister of Energy, Mr Jeff Radebe, and the department will engage the National Economic Development and Labour Council EXCO on Friday, 24 August on the draft report, which will also be published in the Government Gazette and the Department of Energy’s website (www.energy.gov.za) by not later than Monday, 27 August 2018.

5. Cabinet approved the Government Communication Policy, which will be applicable across government. The policy sets norms and standards for government communication practitioners. It also compels all government departments to provide a communication budget and a fully funded personnel capacity. The policy will complement the current Code of Conduct for the Public Service.

6. Cabinet approved the Final Strategy to Addressing Air Pollution in Dense Low-Income Communities of South Africa for implementation. The strategy provides a coordinated approach in reducing air pollution associated with fossil fuel in dense low-income communities.

The current air circulation in these communities exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards set out in the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act 39 of 2004). The strategy provides for interventions to reduce pollution and recommends an   awareness programmes that will highlight the health impact of continued pollution. It also provides for alternative energy options.

7. Cabinet approved the Green Transport Strategy, which will contribute towards reducing the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) in the environment.  Currently, the transport sector accounts for 10, 8% of the total GHG emissions, with road transport being responsible for 91.2% of these GHG emissions.

The strategy introduces a number of interventions that will provide less emissions. It recommends alternative modes of transportations that emit less GHG in the environment. The strategy has already gone through public consultations in 2017.

8. Cabinet approved submission of the charter establishing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Aviation Safety Organisation (SASO) to Parliament for approval. The charter provides a legal and institutional framework to establish SASO, to assist SADC Member States with their civil aviation safety oversight. It will also facilitate the development of efficient and effective civil-aviation infrastructure in SADC Member States.

9. Cabinet approved the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage of 2018. The White Paper revokes elements of the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage of 1996.  The White Paper is a culmination of the review of the 1996 White Paper, which appreciated the achievements in all the facets of arts, culture and heritage and reflected on areas that remained a challenge in advancing nation-building and social cohesion in our democracy.

The White Paper aims for a dynamic, vibrant and a transformed South African arts, culture and heritage sector that will contribute towards nation-building, social cohesion and socio-economic inclusion.

10. Cabinet approved the National Policy Framework on Underwater Cultural Heritage, which synergizes the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Convention, the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act 25 of 1999) and other relevant national legislation.

The policy is underpinned by the principle that cultural heritage belongs to all people of South Africa. It identifies a range of stakeholders and actions to promote underwater cultural heritage, and to create awareness of its significance and capacity building.

11. Cabinet approved the 2018 and 2019 Annual Stamp Programme from the South African Post Office. The stamps reflect South Africa’s diverse culture, national identity, history, rich heritage, heroes and heroines, the environment as well as socio-economic development. The stamps further serve as small ambassadors for South Africa as they travel across the world through the postal network.

12. Cabinet approved the designs of the commemorative collectors’ coin series to be issued in 2019 by the Mint Company.

C. Bills

1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill of 2018 to Parliament. The Bill amends three pieces of legislation, namely the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act 51 of 1996); Electoral Act, 1998 (Act 73 of 1998) and the Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act, 2000 (Act 27 of 2000).

The Bill makes a number of amendments to adjust the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) election processes. Some of the proposed changes provides that the IEC can use all available sources of data to obtain information necessary to compile and maintain the national common voters’ roll. It also provides for the prohibition of the use of the name and its acronym, logo designs or material use or owned by the IEC.

2. Cabinet approved submission of the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill to Parliament. The Bill amends the Electronic Communication Act, 2005 (Act 36 of 2005) to give effect to the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper, for the transformation of South Africa into an inclusive, and innovative knowledge and digital society. It also provides for the transformation of the sector through enforcement of broad-based black economic empowerment.

Amongst others, it provides for the lowering of the cost of communications. It also reduces infrastructure duplications and encourages service-based competition through a WOAN service.

3. Cabinet approved for the publication of the Financial Matters Amendment Bill of 2018 for public comment. The amendments are in five pieces of legislations:

  • The Insolvency Act of 1963, to strengthen the regulation of over-the-counter derivative market, in line with G20 commitments;
  • The Military Pensions Act of 1976, to address discriminatory provision and ensure gender neutrality to recognise different types of relationships;
  • The Banks Act of 1990, to allow for qualifying state-owned companies to apply for banking licences, subject to Executive approval;
  • The Government Employment Pension Law of 1996, to change the clean break principle in the case of divorce, ensuring that members’ pension pay outs to former spouses on divorce are not converted to a debt obligation; and
  • The Auditing Profession Act of 2005, to address challenges and limitations that the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors faces in discharging its regulatory and oversight responsibilities.

4. Cabinet approved the submission of the Military Discipline Bill of 2018 to Parliament. It addresses the administration of military judicial system, creation and appointment of military police services, and disciplinary hearings.

The Bill will repeal the current Military Discipline Supplementary Measures Act, 1999 (Act 16 of 1999). This Bill will align SANDF Military Discipline to the UN, especially on soldiers in peacekeeping missions.

5. Cabinet approved publication of the Companies Amendment Bill of 2018 in the Government Gazette for public comment. The Bill amends the Companies Act, 2008 (Act 71 of 2008). It reduces the regulatory and administrative burdens to business owners and enhances South Africa’s attractiveness to potential investors.

D. Upcoming Events

Tourism Month in September was launched on 16 August 2018 in Tsitsikamma in the Eastern Cape, under the theme: “Tourism and the digital transformation”, which mirrors the theme of the UN World Tourism Organisation World Tourism Day taking place on 27 September 2018.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council report released in November 2016, tourism employs 1.55 million people directly and indirectly in South Africa, and its direct contribution to the gross domestic product is R118 billion.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support this vital sector of the economy.  It is also important that we work towards a more inclusive tourism sector that unlocks entrepreneurship, economic opportunities and jobs in our communities.

2. Cabinet approved the 2018 Public Service Month Programme under the theme: “Thuma Mina: Taking Public Service to the People: Batho Pele: “We Belong, We Care and We Serve”. The full-month programme of activities will be made available through the government website (www.gov.za).

3. SAPS National Commemoration Day on 2 September 2018, with commemoration activities commencing from 31 August. This is in memory of police officials and reservists who were killed in the line of duty, having paid the highest price in service of the nation.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to recognise and celebrate the lives of these heroes and heroines who died in the line of duty. It calls on all communities across the country to fly the flag at half-mast, and to observe a moment of silence in all religious ceremonies during the period 31 August to 2 September 2018, as a symbol of support to the SAPS.

4. South Africa will host the International Conference on Science, Technology, Engineering and Management, organised by the Research World, from 24 to 25 August 2018 in Cape Town. The conference, which will provide opportunities for participants to share their ideas and experiences with a global audience, reaffirms that South Africa is a premier destination for global events.

5. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to participate in activities to celebrate Heritage Month in September. Heritage Month is observed annually to encourage the public to celebrate their unity in diversity and to continue to build a country where its people care for each other and respect one another.

E. Messages

1. Nominations for National Orders

Cabinet reiterates President Ramaphosa’s invitation to members of the public to nominate citizens and eminent foreign nationals that they believe deserve to receive the country’s highest honours, the National Orders. The deadline for nominations is 7 September 2018.

2. Eid

Cabinet conveyed best wishes to the Muslim community in South Africa and around the world on the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha yesterday, Wednesday 22 August 2018. More than 2 500 Muslims from South Africa have travelled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join an estimated two million Muslims from around the world for the Hajj pilgrimage.

3. Condolences

3.1. Cabinet joins President Ramaphosa in expressing condolences to the family and friends of Mama Zondeni Sobukwe, who was affectionately known as “Mother of Azania”. President Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral Category 2 for her. She was a heroine of resistance and a fighter for the freedom of all South Africans, who continued her activism into our democratic dispensation. On 28 April 2018 – and as an extension of Freedom Day celebrations – President Ramaphosa bestowed the National Order of Luthuli in Silver on Mama Sobukwe. She was also the wife of Pan Africanist Congress founding President Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. The year 2018 also marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Mr Sobukwe.  Mama Sobukwe will be laid to rest on Saturday, 25 August 2018, at the Kroonvale Cemetery in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

3.2. Cabinet also joins President Ramaphosa in expressing condolences on the passing of His Excellency Kofi Atta Annan, former UN Secretary-General (UNSG). Mr Annan was the first black African to become UNSG and he used his position to advance the African agenda. His death is a great loss to the global community.

3.3. Cabinet also expresses its condolences on the passing of world-renowned singer and United States civil-rights activist, Aretha Franklin.

3.4. Cabinet joins the international community in sending condolences to the Italian Government and people, and the families of the victims, following the collapse of the Morandi motorway bridge in the north-western Italian city of Genoa. Cabinet also wishes the injured a speedy recovery.

3.5 Cabinet expresses its condolences to the family and friends of world-renowned political economist and African academic Samir Amin, who passed away on 12 August at the age of 86. Throughout his life he was a tireless advocate for Third World liberation, and his thinking transformed the way we understand capitalism and imperialism.

3.6 Cabinet also conveys its condolences to the government and the people of India on the loss of lives during the recent floods and landslides in the state of Kerala.

3.7 Condolences were also sent to the government and people of Sudan following the drowning of 24 school children in the Nile River.

F. Appointments

All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.

1. Ms Deshni Subbiah as Director to the Board of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Limited.

2. Ms Thezi Rosemary Mabuza, reappointed as Deputy Commissioner of the National Consumer Commission.

3. Non-executive directors on the Land and Agricultural Development Bank Board of Directors:

  • Adv Sandra Coetzee (reappointment); and
  • Ms Mathane Eveline Makgatho (reappointment).

4. Non-executive directors to the Board of the Airports Company South Africa:

  • Dr Nolulamo Nobambiswano Gwangwa (Chairperson);
  • Ms Phydelis Ntombifuthi Mvelase;
  • Mr Yershen Pillay;
  • Mr Bonang Francis Mohale;
  • Mr Pascalis Mathealira Mokupo;
  • Ms Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo; and
  • Mr Nqobizitha Irvin Phenyane.

5. Non-executive members to the Board of the South African National Roads Agency Limited:

  • Mr Themba Barrange Mhambi (Chairperson);
  • Mr Alderman Robert Haswell;
  • Ms Nkareng Mpobane;
  • Mr Thamsanqa Piet Matosa; and
  • Ms Dladla.

6. National Advisory Council on Innovation:

  • Ms Claire Busetti (reappointment);
  • Mr Paul Steenkamp (reappointment);
  • Ms Thulile Mthethwa;
  • Mr Isaiah Clive Engelbrecht;
  • Rejoyce Gavhi-Molefe;
  • Prof. Derrick Ian Swartz (Chairperson);
  • Dr Tiisetso Elizabeth Lephoto;
  • Ms Ilse Karg (reappointment and Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) representative);
  • Dr Molapo Qhobela (reappointment);
  • Prof Crain Arthur Soudien (reappointment);
  • Dr Thulani Humphrey Dlamini (reappointment);
  • Mr Dhesigen Pydiah Naidoo (reappointment);
  • Dr Shadrack Moephuli (reappointment);
  • Prof Roseanne Denise Diab (reappointment);
  • Dr Boitumelo Phakathi; and
  • Ms Mamello Matikinca.

7. South African National Space Agency:

  • Ms Xoliswa Kakana (Chairperson);
  • Prof Azwinndini Muronga;
  • Mr Johan Prinsloo (reappointment);
  • Mr Willie van Biljon (reappointment);
  • Mr Eugene Jansen (reappointment);
  • Mr Ashley Naidoo (reappointment and Department of Environmental Affairs representative);
  • Mr Lindelwa Simphiwe Hamilton (reappointment and Department of Defence representative);
  • Ms Nomfuneko Majaja (the dti representative);
  • Ms Mariam Paul (Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services representative);
  • Ms Leago Stella Takalani;
  • Ms Lumka Msibi;
  • Adv Icho Kealotswe Matlou;
  • Ms Matsie Matooane (reappointment);
  • Ms Innocentia Mmule Pule (reappointment); and
  • Ms Mbaliyethu Mfeka (reappointment).

8. National Research Foundation:

  • Prof Tinyiko Maluleke (reappointment);
  • Prof Nadine Felicity Petersen;
  • Dr Sarah Mosoetsa (reappointment);
  • Dr Nompumelelo Obokoh (Chairperson);
  • Prof Haroon Bhorat;
  • Prof Zebion Vilakazi;
  • Prof Sinah Saurabh;
  • Prof Nomalanga Mkhize;
  • Prof Glenda Elisabeth Gray;
  • Dr Bongani Ngqulunga;
  • Ms Mpho Letlape (reappointment);
  • Mr Mashangu Ronny Lubisi (reappointment); and
  • Ms Claire Busetti (reappointment).

Enquiries:

Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 501 0139

Issued by:
Government Communications
23 August 2018




 

 

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